Young, loud and snotty: Punk, rebellion and the movies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


This article seeks to investigate the ways punk and representations of juvenile delinquency interact in cinema and to explore the aesthetic, narrative and ideological quality of those depictions of youthful rebellion positioned as in dialogue with punk culture. By initially considering portrayals of delinquency in cinema existent outside of and/or predating the punk movement, this article will think through the specific ways punk is used to signify and fortify acts of rebellion. Beginning in the 1950s and with the reinvigoration of the term ‘juvenile delinquent’ in the post-war period, this article examines cinematic responses to the moral issue of ‘youth-crime’ in the context of a supposedly evaporating family unit. From here it considers the ‘skate-film’ of the 1980s and 1990s and its relationship to punk to explore the way other subcultural expressions of juvenile delinquency manifest on film. Subsequently, it moves to consider films that use, in different ways, the ethos and aesthetic of punk rock as a constitutive element in the depiction of adolescent rebellion. It argues that these films work to articulate the role punk plays in expressions of rebellion on-screen – utilizing both its violent and anarchic potential but also its inherent irony to express an oppositional philosophical framework with its own idiosyncratic ideology that is ultimately geared towards social change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPunk and Post-Punk
Early online date30 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jun 2023


  • Punk
  • Post Punk
  • Film


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